An Open Letter To Mr. Mukesh Ambani
I would like to state that this is not a political post but rather just a little something to share my gratitude towards the man who has directly affected my life and the lives of people around me, in a positive way.
Allow me to begin with a story in today’s world, one that is so digitally connected that it is impossible to not be influenced by all the news & stories making rounds on various channels, from social to print media. All the things that we see and read online tend to have quite a huge effect of on our minds, so much so that we start liking the things that the media wants us to like, and dislike those that the media dislikes.
Whilst we all are aware of how facts are twisted so that they can be turned to TRPs, we all still like to read all about the elusive 1% and their lives but then most of us (read punjabis) also like to say “main kee laina” while reading about them. I had the same approach towards all of these multi billionaires, expect for Ratan Tata, whom I have always respected. Almost all the News articles I read about him are positive, be it about his humble nature or about him travelling in an economy class, etc. I actually started liking him even more after the 26/11 attacks after I discovered that he stood for & with the nation after the attack. His tremendous support to everyone who during that disastrous time was highly commendable, more so because he came forward to help not just his own employees, but all those affected by the bomb blasts, including the railway employees, police, firefighters, pedestrians etc.
I may write a separate post for the Tata Family as their is so much history, so much they have done that one would need proper fact research to accurately be able to share the entire journey of the Tatas.
Back to how our opinions get affected by what we hear all around, something similar happened to be sometime around September 2016, the launch of the phenomena that is Reliance Jio. I again would like to add here that my opinions might not be similar to yours, but ours is a free country, so please Bhavnaao ko samjho, as I speak from experience, aka ‘aapbeeti‘
A brief history of Reliance Jio:
On Sep 1, 2016, during Reliance’s 42nd Annual General Meeting, Mr Mukesh Ambani took the stage to give a speech to RIL’s shareholders, sharing his vision for the Reliance Jio and dedicating it to our PM Modi’s dream of Digital India. In this speech, Mr Mukesh Ambani spoke of Jio, a high quality, high speed, abundantly available data network which was to be gifted to every citizen of India at a 99% lesser rate than that of the other networks. The next morning we found a huge full page advertisement from Reliance with our PM Modi’s picture mentioning his vision of Digital India. I actually liked the gesture because the intent was honest here. However, some people had problems, like always. About the thing I said, how our opinions also get influenced by the media sometimes, this is where my opinion formulation of Reliance Jio started, without having even experienced it for myself.
During the very same speech, Airtel and Idea’s stocks started falling lower, and lower as the speech progressed..
(Wahi mehenge daamo wali safai kam daam mein mile to koi ye kyon le, woh na le – Super Nirma)
On Sep 5, 2016, Reliance Jio was commercially launched with its Free Welcome Offer for everyone having a 4G Phone . People lined up like crazy outside reliance stores as it was too good an offer to resist, I mean a totally free of cost sim with free calling, free SMS, free unlimited high speed data, and all these facilities were going to be available, for free, till the New Year 2017. SIM card registration was linked with Aadhar, making Jio one step ahead of all other service providers. Jio acquired 16 million subscribers in the first month of its launch. This number has crossed 100 million now. Then after about two weeks of Jio’s launch, Airtel, Idea and Vodafone, all panicked and stopped sharing their network with Jio, which affected Jio’s call quality. That however was solved after the matter was taken by Mr. Ambani to TRAI and DOT. Jio is now going strong, and today it is easily the most cost-effective data provider in India.
My introduction to the wonder that is Jio:
I saw and read about the huge lines, and the initial reception of Reliance Jio too, but being the lazy guy that I am, I thought lines me kaun lagega and I did not get a Jio sim for myself. During the time when Jio was launched (Sep – Oct 2016), I was using Idea 3G-4G network on my phone and Airtel 4G WiFi at home. So months went by like this, and then one day, sometime after in February 2017 i.e., after 6 months of Jio’s launch, the HR of the company I work at and my best friend, Ketaky, told me in a conversation that, “you know, I haven’t spent a single penny on internet for the last 5 months” and I’m like “really?! Then you must be getting very slow speed”. But boy was I surprised, as the internet she was using on her phone was at par with Airtel or Idea.
I was really shocked and disappointed with myself that why did I waste the last 6 months when I could have got all the great facilities & data speed that Jio offered. I was lamenting that I could have saved Rs 12,500 which was my internet expenditure for the months Oct 2017 – Feb 2017 by simply switching to Reliance Jio. You know, I was more upset because my opinion of Jio was not mine, but rather that what was presented by the media, and also the reason behind me not opting for Jio.
Now a reformed, and well-informed man, I went to the market as soon as the weekend arrived, and got a Jio Sim for both me and my mom. With UIDAI/ AADHAR linking, the sim got activated before we reached home! Till this time, Jio was still offering Free Data and Calling (a bit limited now) which was not going well with the other overly expensive internet service providers.
I used Jio and was amazed to find the data speed so efficient and after using Reliance Jio for almost a month, I realized that I had saved almost Rs 2500 per month, that I was spending just on the internet.
You must be thinking ki “GAPP” maarda, but let me tell you that I have backed this up with facts, which you’ll see as you read further.
Why am I thankful to Mukesh Ambani and Reliance Jio:
#1. For an IT professional like myself, Internet is just like oxygen, a very important part of my life, not just for my professional work, but also for general awareness, fun and learning new things. Having internet on your phone at all times is more of a necessity than a luxury these days. So,there was no choice, I had to pay exorbitant amunts to Idea for internet. I am sharing the screenshot below in which you can see that I was spending almost Rs 750 per month on my Idea 3G and was getting only 3 GB data. I was spending Rs 1723 per month on Airtel 4G LTE WIFI and was getting 20 GB data per month. However, once I shifted to Reliance Jio, I am saving Rs 2500 per month.
All this money that was being spent on unnecessarily expensive data plans is now being saved. You might say that other companies are also offering the low cost plan now but please tell what made Airtel/Idea/Vodafone reduce the exorbitant prices of their internet packs. Would they be offering such low cost plans if Reliance Jio didn’t exist? And these networks lowered their prices to compete with Jio, means that they could have given data plans for much cheaper, but preferred looting the Indian People to earn profits, of a thing that was a necessity? They were shamelessly taking advantage of the fact that everyone needs internet, so let us exploit these foold who know nothing.
I was really a happy Idea customer but I somehow feel cheated now. I want to know why were these companies charging so much for something which they could have offered for less. If they have reduced the rates now, after Jio came into the picture, it clearly means they had enormous margins and were just minting money out of an unsuspecting audience. I have friends in US, Canada and AUS who used to tell that internet there is much cheaper than the Cable TV but India had a completely different reality.
When Reliance Jio was launched, at that time Idea was giving 1 GB per month for Rs 245 for 28 days which means Rs 735 for 3 GB for a month. At this moment, I am getting 2 GB per day for 88 days in just Rs 509. Don’t you think that Reliance has gifted the best thing to the nation? Internet is a necessity, and instead of exploiting that need, don’t you feel that Reliance Jio has truly done something for the nation’s improvement, by making a basic thing like internet, affordable and accessible to everyone. Something that the other network providers refused to do lest their profits decreased!
#2. PM Modi’s Demonetization wouldn’t have been a success without such abundantly available data at such a low price.
#3. My Mom who is 67 years old is using internet now because she feels she can afford it now. My friends who are farmers in Punjab, and many farmers from rural punjab who are not even educated, are now freely using internet on their phones. They use whatsapp, Facebook, Youtube and Online Shopping Websites and trust me there is an improvement in their personality as they now are aware what is happening in the world.
#4. Jio has revolutionized our lives making all of us more tech savvy. Through Youtube, Facebook and Whatsapp, ordinary people like Dhinchak Pooja, Punjab’s Nachattar Mistry and Harman Cheema are now local celebrities, who became popular in a single day just because of easy access to social media.
Nachattar Mistry and Harman Cheema belong to average familis and they wouldn’t have got a platform ever in their lives had Jio not arrived. With Jio’s all around access, and easy availablity all over the country, everyone can now make their own videos and post them online, where, if they’re talented, they become viral in days!
Punjabis would agree that if there was no Jio, would we even know that someone like Gurjant Singh exists?
#5. There is more entertainment in life now. Web series have become popular and are the new trending thing now. We would have missed Sarabhai vs Sarabhai, Shitty Ideas Trending and Sammy Naz’s short videos if there would have been no Jio. Seriously, if you have some talent, you can become a superstar in a single day, all thanks to Reliance Jio.
#6. Life has become easier. I pay my bills online, I shop online, I book my gas online, I recharge for my phone online and I kill my life’s boredom online. I stay occupied, my mind is busier and my time is utilized efficiently.
I feel that life is much much happier after Jio’s launch. A very ordinary example would be that earlier waiting for someone was like ‘maut’ but now you have something to pass the time. Now, I do not lose my temper if someone gets late. Similarly, there are many more ways in which it has impacted our lives.
And I am really sorry for myself that in Sep 2016, I believed the rumors about the call quality and didn’t opt for Jio. I should have realized that there is no dearth of people who will just highlight 1 weakness and ignore the 99 positives.
Coming to Jio’s Service, I haven’t found such perfect customer service ever, not with any other network provider in India. Till today, I have lodged 4 service requests regarding speed or connectivity issue and every issue was resolved within 24 hours. You can even see the tickets and their status. Who gives such service man?
I know that the Anti-Modi elements will still find some faults but I don’t care.
Coming to another point which many idiots say that Jio was just a way to convert Ambani’s black money to white before demonetization. Haha, he is one of the world’s richest man which means he is is richest even with his white money. Secondly, if you say that Modi Ji favors him, wouldn’t he got his money converted by just sitting at home.
And if 1% I agree that he got his black converted, then how could it have affected you?. You wouldn’t have got his single penny in both the cases.
I fail to understand why many of you fail to look at the positive sides of life.
Atlast, I would like to whole heartedly thank Mukesh Ji for this wonderful gift to this nation. With Jio, you have built the foundation of Digital India and we can see our nation growing towards the right direction. All thanks to you. I am just short of words to describe how grateful we are for getting such a flawless service. Really Really proud of you being an Indian.
Bahut Bahut Dhannwaad Mukesh Ji.